mardi 26 février 2013

#Madagascar #Cyclone #Haruna : #Tulear underwater

A cyclone is a dangerous natural phenomena often causing loss of life and massive damage. Last week, the South-West part of the island of Madagascar was  severely hit by the cyclone named Haruna, causing a deplorable situation in the affected areas. A situation which  become a national trending topic on the media.

Insufficient action plan
Tropical cyclone Haruna entered the region of Tulear last Friday, February 22 and left the area the next morning. As a consequence, it has caused an unprecedented heavy toll despite actions of mitigation, preparation and prevention (development of measures to reduce the potential damage ...) implemented by the BNGRC (National Disaster Management Office of the region), as well as calls for vigilance launched by the meteorology, and the advices and warnings broadcasted on national radio station to make concerned people aware, and be informed as soon as possible to take all the necessary measures in alleviating the effects. Nevertheless, we can see that the gravity and the extent of the damage both human and material clearly show the  lack or inadequacy action plan, plan emergency evacuation and rescue in time.

Heavy toll
80% across the region was devastated by Haruna, tragic provisional results are 18 dead, 16 disappeared, 81 injured, 22498 stricken, 9965 homeless so far. Not to mention the material damage including houses, public infrastructures such as administrative buildings, schools, gendarmerie's offices which were all destroyed with their roofs blown away. Wishing no bad things, the number of victims and homeless will probably be revised upward in the coming weeks.

Water, power cut, lack of fuel
Tree uprooted, Jirama's poles succumbed to wind burst and the dam of Sakaraha is damaged, causing water and power cut accross the region. But the electricity was slowly restored apart some neighborhoods. Service stations also have difficulties to distribute fuels. Only Shell stations are opened in Toliara.

Flood of immense magnitude
But the most significant effects were the flooding caused by the rupture of the dam Fiherena, so a dozen quarters were completely submerged by water, as well as rice field, houses, streets, schools, .... These floods make difficult the axes and rescue operations, explained the responsibility at the BNGRC. That's why, some people are still stuck on the roof waiting to be saved. Actually, people move around by either swimming or taking a canoe with a little expensive price.

In such case, it is deplorable to see some malicious people to take advantage of the situation by looting the property of their surroundings, and some officials responsible to divert donations. Unfortunately, the misfortune of one is the happiness of others

Relief actions
On relief efforts, everyone and various responsible officials collaborate and work together to provide assistance and support  to the affected population, and to evacuate and supply them with food and first necessity product. BNGRC with the support of local authorities, such as the armed forces and police have been mobilized to provide assistance to the population and securing evacuated areas. For now, the victims are housed in a dozen emergency shelters, as in churches or schools in the nearby region.

Call for solidarity
A call for national and international solidarity has been launched. Some organisations have already answered the call. Like the World Food Programme (WFP) who has begun distributing foods and nutritional foods. National and international NGOs also contribute in their respective fields. Of course, without international help and support, Tulear's deplorable situation will have diffuculty to be restored. 

On the political side
Yesterday, the president of transitional Governement of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina went on the ground to see firsthand the cyclonic damage, and also to comfort Tulearoise population, by saying that "in adversity, we know our friends" . Of course, he did not come empty-handed because he promised to offer all the cheap rice "vary mora" to the victims and also promised the rehabilitation of the dam Fiherena as soon as possible, a decision considered by the citizens as too late because before, the population of Tulear has already made a complaint about the dam but no satisfactory answer than at this time of disaster. Others political figures too have shown their solidarity and bring help to the cyclone Haruna's victims. An opportunity to make an early presidential propaganda, some people said.

For this purpose also, social networks are providing information before, during and after the cyclone, a Facebook page was created to share timely information about the cyclone, and also on Twitter under the hashtag # cyclone #Haruna #Toliara #Madagascar

In short, to avoid the growth of potential consequences such as famine, malnutrition and epidemics. An approppriate sanitary and  humanitarian measures should be taken immediately to tackle any food crisis or hygiene problems because despite the decrease of the water level, water will surely stagnate and will generate an unpleasant odors of mud and debris which will probably cause diseases such as diarrhea, skin disease. Currently, the urgency is to continue helping, rescuing, relocating and feeding the homeless. Hoping that the situation will quickly be back to normal  and God save them. Courage my dear compatriots, loving you wholeheartedly!

Photos of the cyclone Haruna showing the image of the floods are available on the website of BNGRC

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